Release Date – May 23, 2011
An incredible amount of excellent metal can be found in Sweden. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the melodic death metal acts popping up from that country. They’re mostly all decent, but once in a while you come across a band that really catches your ear, such as the heavy hitters in Implode. Their debut release on Supernova Records is a steamroller of an album called The Hour Has Come, and that title holds true for this band. Their hour to shine has definitely arrived, and they’ve delivered.
The Hour Has Come starts off crushingly, drives forward like a bulldozer, and ends like the aftermath of a tornado. It takes absolutely no prisoners, and leaves you with your eyeballs twitching, wanting more. With the exception of a demo release called Memento Mori, which for the most part stayed in the underground, these guys have managed to hit the nail on the head their first time around. Gone is former front man Viktor Bruno and shredder Jon Dehlen, being replaced by Johan Ejerblom and Viktor Lindquist, respectively. Along with drummer Henrik Axelsson, additional guitarist Christoffer Knutsson, and bassist Gustav Johansson, this five piece has shared the stage with the likes of Within Temptation, The Haunted, and Entombed. Production consists of basically….everything hitting you upside your head at once, which is a very positive statement for this album.
One of the only real “quiet” moments on this album comes in the form of the album opener, “Intro” – however it does a good job of preparing you for the frantic headbanging to follow. The band then kicks into “For the Reaper”, which is like the rest of the album, a full speed ahead mosh-fest, featuring a breakdown/bridge section that is sure to be a sing-along when the band plays it live. Following that, Implode jumps right into their lead single, a track called “No Limitations”. Ejerblom’s shrill scream starts off the track, leading into tight crunchy riffing and solid drumming. I almost wanted to compare Ejerblom’s vocals to Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed during this song, however the former’s vocal style is just a tad more death metal than hardcore. Another great track on the album is “Tediously”. The song as a whole is a tiny bit slower than the rest of the album, but the guitars really shine here. We also get to hear the return of Viktor Brunö on clean vocals during the chorus, which definitely adds an extra dimension to the song. Of the ten tracks on the album, this is the one that got me headbanging the hardest.
Implode‘s sound is an aggressive conflux of thrash and death metal, but the band manages to inject their sound with a maelstrom of many metal elements. Just listen to “A War Within” with it’s acoustic intro, that comes alive with Axelsson’s propulsive drumming, crushing guitar work, thick bass grooves, all overlaid by Ejerblom’s dynamic vocals. He even channels his inner Jim Morrison at one point, much as he does on “Luvox”.
The band never let’s their foot off the rampant aggression as the mosh headlong into “Black Crown”. The following track, “Made Obligations” is arguably just a redux of “Black Crown” making it feel like filler. As if the one song never ended but simply came back around. This moment of weakness on the record is overcome by the album closer, “My Scornful Wrath”, an epic ending to a brilliant debut, where the band brings it all together in a glorious act of auditory savagery, with Johannson’s bassline wrapped around your throat like an aural garrote.
Ejerblom’s vocals and Axelsson’s drumming are the album’s continual highlights, which in no way diminishes the impact of the rest of the band, who all come together in hostile ferocity. Ejerblom comes across as if he might reach through your speakers and rip your throat out.
I can’t think of enough good things to say about this band, or this album. Implode are not reinventing the ‘metal’ wheel with this record, but they are certainly taking it to task and handing out a barrage of sonic carnage. Fans of Scar Symmetry will love this album, as will fans of Hatebreed, or even Unearth. The music is just complex enough to display the talents of the musicians, yet stays brutal and heavy in all the right places. I’m pretty sure Implode’s hour has come…and it’s right now.
Notables: For the Reaper, Tediously, No Limitations, My Scornful Wrath